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Beaulieu Vineyard(R) Announces Winner of Georges de Latour(R) Story Contest

NAPA, Calif., Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Since the production of the first vintage of Beaulieu Vineyard(R) Georges de Latour(R) Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon in 1936, generations of wine lovers, presidents, royalty and celebrities have toasted extraordinary events with this California benchmark. Beaulieu Vineyard is proud to announce that Evelyn Shaw of Springdale, Arkansas, submitted the winning Georges de Latour story -- a favorite memory involving this legendary wine. Last fall, in commemoration of the release of the 2003 vintage of this American classic, BV asked wine lovers around the country, where legal, to share their Georges de Latour story. Now, with the release of the 2004 vintage of Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon, Ms. Shaw's winning story will run in national wine magazines and those of runners up will be featured online at http://www.MyBVStory.com, where others are invited to share their favorite BV story.

In the early 1980s, Ms. Shaw and her young husband splurged to purchase the 1977 Georges de Latour ($20). Over the years, they debated if a celebration or family milestone warranted uncorking "the Queen's Wine" as they called it (President Reagan served the 1977 to Queen Elizabeth II in 1983). Then on a crisp and beautiful, but otherwise ordinary, fall day in 2002, their two sons grown and off to college, the Shaws uncorked the wine, "... reliving the many occasions when we didn't open the BV, yet we were able to enjoy all of those special occasions all at once as we reminisced," wrote Ms. Shaw. "The simplicity of this moment allowed us to focus all our senses on the complexity of the wine. Bliss!" she added. The bottle is now the only empty one left in the cellar as a memento that honors past celebrations.

Other stories shared similarly extraordinary moments. David Rowland of Orlando, Florida, received a college graduation gift from his parents of the 1998 vintage. Last November, after a hot air balloon ride in Napa Valley, Mr. Rowland proposed to his fiance. That evening, he brought the same bottle to dinner and toasted the occasion with his new fiance and his parents.

Herman Koempel of Bainbridge Island, Washington, recounts the story of receiving two bottles of 1976 Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon on his wedding night and uncorking one to celebrate with his new bride. But the second bottle aged 13 years until they celebrated the birth of their first daughter. "It was perfect and completely expressed the most wonderful day of our lives. That was years ago, and we still remember it very vividly. Today, in part due to that very special occasion and that exquisite bottle of wine, we have come to enjoy the benefits of fine wines..."

BV Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was the first California reserve wine made in the U.S. and has been a benchmark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for more than 60 years. Today, Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon is reputed to be one of the most collected wines in America. Aged 20 months in oak, 2004 Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon reflects many decades of experience with the historic BV vineyards in Napa Valley's Rutherford appellation. The result is a wine of balance, character, depth, body and richness-a wine for the ages.

More than 100 Years of Passionate Winemaking

The deep roots of Beaulieu Vineyard were planted in the Napa Valley back in 1900, by the French wine pioneer Georges de Latour. He recognized the Napa Valley as an ideal climate for growing grapes, and envisioned creating American wines as great as those of his native Bordeaux, France. When his wife, Fernande de Latour first saw the Napa property her husband planned to buy she exclaimed, "Que beaulieu!" which means "beautiful place" in French. The name stuck and today Beaulieu Vineyard remains the beautiful place is was back in 1900.

Beaulieu Vineyard has a long history of leadership and innovation in the wine industry and is known for producing wines of the highest quality. Beaulieu Vineyard founder Georges de Latour imported the first phylloxera-resistant grape vines to California in 1902, which helped to save the American wine industry from the potentially devastating vine disease. In addition, BV conducted fourteen years of Cabernet Sauvignon clone research that benefited the entire industry. The objective was to identify the best clones of Cabernet Sauvignon vines for specific regions within the Napa Valley. Due to this research, BV vineyards now produce some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the world. The tradition of quality and innovation continues under the leadership of Winemaker Joel Aiken, who has been at BV since 1982 and trained under the famed winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff.

About Beaulieu Vineyard

Beaulieu Vineyard is produced by Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines (DC&E), part of Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O); the world's leading premium drinks business. DC&E produces and markets premium wines from around the globe including Napa Valley, Sonoma, the California Central Coast, Washington, France, New Zealand and Australia. Brands include: Sterling Vineyards, Sterling Vintner's Collection, Chalone Vineyard, Acacia Vineyard, Edna Valley Vineyard and Provenance Vineyards as well as the French wines of Barton & Guestier. DC&E is also a leading importer of classified Bordeaux and Burgundy estate-bottled wines including F.E. Trimbach.

Diageo's broader business includes an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wine and beer including Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan and Crown Royal. Diageo is a global company, listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands and performance, visit us at http://www.diageo.com.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly.

Source: Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines

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